The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) sales figures for titles registered with the organisation were published this week and overall, despite an overall decline in magazine circulation figures – down an average 5.5 per cent – comics and children’s magazines continue to do well, with almost 50 titles appealing to young and teenage readers in the Top 200 magazine on sale in the UK (based on a list published by the Press Gazette).
We’ve updated our spreadsheet of sales figures we think will most interest downthetubes readers here.
Campaign, a news title dedicated to celebrating creative excellence in the communications industry, notes that in relative terms, the best performing fully paid-for titles were Immediate Media’s teen magazine Mega (up 43 per cent to 34,495) and CBeebies Magazine (up 25 per cent to 69,466).
Egmont’s TOXIC (55,004) has also seen a sales rise, and the LEGO titles from the same publisher are doing well, with Lego – Lands of Chima and LEGO Ninjago both with average sales of over 50,000. However, some long-running titles aren’t faring as well – Ben 10 has slipped below 30,000, (29,907, down from 34,304). When you consider it was selling an average 71,104 copies in the second half of 2010, it does seem in need of some kind of recharge.
Both Doctor Who Adventures and Doctor Who Magazine have suffered sales drops. Panini took over DWA earlier this year, but the title has an average sale of 20,506, not much less than the previous period figures of 20,944, but a far cry from the average of 105, 557 it was selling in 2006. With DWM seeing a circulation drop of 23.5 per cent to an average of 25,663 from 33,419, that’s quite a marked change for the Magazine. Perhaps the introduction of a new Doctor on the show is a factor her, or competition from other Doctor Who titles on the market, including Titan Comics Doctor Who Comic, for which no sales figures are available.
“I’m pleased to see that TOXIC is still selling so well, commented British comics archivist and comics creator Lew Stringer. “It’s been a great success for Egmont since its launch in 2002 and its good that its 13th year of continuous publication hasn’t been an unlucky one. I guess we must be doing something right.
“I’m disappointed to see a dip in circulation for both of Panini’s Doctor Who titles,” he added. “although I did notice in shops in my area that retailers did not increase their orders when DWA relaunched with a new first issue. Kids can’t buy it if they can’t discover it. Also of course these figures cover the months when Doctor Who isn’t on TV, so that’s bound to have some detrimental effect on sales of both of those mags.”
Once again, the only superhero title that is ABC listed is Panini’s Ultimate Spider-Man, which has seen an 8.5% rise in circulation – let’s hope other superhero-related titles are doing as well.
Over in the girls magazine sector, there’s a strong performance for Egmont’s Disney Frozen, Redan’s Sparkle World – but Monster High has taken quite a hit.
Overall, the Press Gazette notes that children’s magazines were among the best performing in the ABC figures for the first half of 2015, according to a sector-by-sector breakdown. The 12 magazines categorised for for primary aged boys saw their combined circulations grow by 36.2 per cent to 409,227. The ten titles for girls of the same age recorded a combined average circulation of 395,192, up 24.3 per cent.
Outside the children’s sectors, of interest to downthetubes readers will be the continued rise of Private Eye, which claims highest circulation since 1986 with 4.6 per cent boost. and is at Number 18 in the Top 20 selling magazines in the UK (the top three magazines being TV Choice, What’s On TV and Radio Times). The news magazine sector, notes the Guardian, apparently bucking the trend of declining circulations.
Intriguingly, despite all the hype, the sale of digital versions of some magazines don’t seem to be doing well. Of the 90 digital editions audited by ABC for this period, 37 saw their circulations fall from the first half of 2014.
The Audit Bureau of Circulations is the industry body for media measurement. The organisation brings the newspaper and magazine industry together to agree measurement and process Reporting Standards, a process that is constantly evolving to keep pace with industry developments.
Not every comic or children’s magazine is ABC listed, so as usual there are, sadly, no figures for 2000AD, Commando or The Phoenix in the public domain. Note also that some titles only report annually, such as The Beano, so we don’t know how that title has fared sales wise in this period.
Update, 20th August 2015: Commenting on the ABC Sales Figures publisher Immediate Media said they remain the number one publisher in the overall Children’s market, boosted by launch activity, with a gravity-defying performance up 31% year-on-year. “CBeebies Magazine is one of the fastest rising of all consumer magazines with a 25% year-on-year increase with 69,466 fortnightly readers.
“Meanwhile Mega has rocketed by 42% year-on-year, while Lego Legends of Chima is up 19%. Children’s appetite for Lego is apparent in the success of new launch Lego Ninjago which has debuted at 58,070.
“Swashbuckle has also outperformed expectations, landing with a debut ABC of 51,007. Readers have also given the thumbs up to Top of the Pops Magazine’s redesign as it has had a successful re-launch with period on period growth of +5.8%.”
Egmont Publishing UK have also commented on the figures and you can read their statement here.
• Campaign: Top 100 Magazines At A Glance (January – June 2015)
• Press Gazette Top 200 Titles (January – June 2015)
• Press Gazette Digital Magazine ABCs (January – June 2015)